"One key to mastery is what Florida State University psychology professor Anders Ericsson calls 'deliberate practice' - a 'lifelong period of... effort to improve performance in a specific domain[. Deliberate practice isn't running a few miles each day or banging on the piano for twenty minutes each morning. It's much more purposeful, focused, and, yes, painful. Follow these steps - over and over again for a decade - and you just might become a master.
- Remember that deliberate practice has one objective: to improve performance. 'People who play tennis once a week for years don't get any better if they do the same thing each time', Ericsson has said. 'Deliberate practice is about changing your perfromance, setting new goals and straining yourself to reach a bit higher each time'.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat. Repetition matters. Basketball greats don't shoot ten free throws at the end of team practice; they shoot five hundred.
- Seek constant,critical feedback. If you don't know how you're doing, you won't know what to improve.
- Focus ruthlessly on where you need help. While many of us work on what we're already good at, say Ericsson, 'those who get better work on their weaknesses'.
- Prepare for the process to be mentally and physically exhausting. That's why so few people commit to it, but that's why it works".
You can buy Daniel H. Pink's book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates us, here (Amazon UK).